I am nothing if not predictable. Every winter I complain bitterly about the cold temperatures, icy sidewalks and super-dry air. I resent having to wear extra layers of clothing to keep warm, and then add a heavy coat, gloves and hat when I’m going outside. Especially if I’m going somewhere nice and all those extra layers actually have to coordinate. I hate constantly having to apply lotion and lip balm to keep my skin from drying out and my lips from chapping. I don’t like the bare trees and the colorless winter landscape. Each and every year, I am officially sick of Winter the very second I pack away the last of my Christmas decorations. All I want is for warmer temperatures to arrive.
And then Summer hits, with it’s oppressive heat, stifling humidity and zillions of blood-thirsty insects. And I wonder just exactly why I was in such a hurry for this particular season to arrive.
Sure, Summer has a lot of good qualities. The trees are green again, the flowers are blooming, home-grown fruits and vegetables are in abundance and few things are nicer than jumping into a sparkling pool on a hot afternoon. But like all seasons, summer has its challenges.
The lawn that looked so wonderful during our annual two weeks of Spring is now riddled with weeds and sporting a ton of brown spots from where our dog uses it as her bathroom. I’d rather not use harsh chemicals, so every year I spend hours pulling up the “creeping charlie” that spreads so fast it really ought to be named “sprinting charlie.” But no matter how many mounds of weeds I pull, I can never get rid of it. And no matter how many times my husband puts down new sod to replace the dead spots, it’s just a matter of time before my dog and her killer urine turn the grass brown again.
While I do like the simplicity of Summer clothes, my vision of walking out of my house without a care in the world isn’t particularly accurate. Depending on where I’m going, I still have some additions to make. If I’m heading out to my volunteer job walking shelter dogs, I have to make sure that I’m wearing plenty of sunscreen. And extra deodorant, since I’ll be sweating buckets before my shift is half over. If I’m going to do yard work, I need to add insect repellent as well, because apparently our yard is a popular destination in the mosquito world. Thousands come every year, bringing their friends and families with them.
And if I’m going to a restaurant, a medical office, church, or any kind of indoor store, I need to make sure I take a long a jacket or sweater. Because the people who control the thermostats in those places firmly believe that the hotter it is outside, the colder it must be inside. Which means that if the heat index is nearing 100 degrees, the optimum temperature inside must be somewhere around 48 degrees. I can only assume they have unlimited budgets when it comes to paying their utility bills.
Still, all things come to an end, and this Summer will be no exception. Autumn will eventually arrive, followed by Winter and all that it has to offer. Beautiful snowfalls, cozy sweaters, tasty mugs of hot chocolate, and absolutely no mosquitoes. I can hardly wait…..